Journal Article ロシアの中東政策 -- プーチン大統領のシリア政策を通じて

清水, 学

3pp.49 - 73 , 2016-03 , 日本貿易振興機構アジア経済研究所
The active initiative taken by Russian President Vladamir Putin by bombarding the antigovernment forces in Syria at the end of September 2015 startled the world by its precalculated boldness. Russian intervention has radically changed the dynamic of the war by empowering the Syrian government of Bashar Assad, and has resulted in a ceasefire agreement which starts on 27th February 2016, led by Russia and the US. No one can predict at present the next stage of conflicts in Syria or whether it will result in a positive solution to the tragic wars there. However, there is no denying the fact that Russia has played an important role in the development of the game. This paper analyzes the motivations of Putin in intervening in the Syrian crisis and the factors which have enabled Russia to play an enlarged role in the Middle East, seemingly beyond its objective capabilities. Legacies of international networks built during the Soviet period; shrewd tactics in making use of the inconsistency and vacillation of US policies, particularly towards the Middle East; its historical experience of interaction with the Muslim cultures, including domestic ones; its geopolitical perception of world politics, and the export of energy resources and military weapons as tools of diplomacy are some of the factors which explain Russian behavior. At the same time, the personal leadership and accumulated experience of President Putin in formulating Russian diplomacy and in manipulating different issues in a combined policy should be taken into account. His initiative in Syria succeeded to some extent in turning world attention away from the Ukrainian issue, aimed at changing the present sanctions imposed by the West. Another phenomenon to be noted in the international arena is the newly developed mutual interaction between Russia and the Arab countries in the Gulf. Frequent visits to Russia by autocratic leaders, including kings, emirsand princes do not always reflect a shared common interest between Russia and the Arab leaders. On the contrary, in spite of sharp and fundamental differences in their attitude toward the issues related to Syria, Iran and Yemen, the Arab leaders find it necessary to communicate with Russia and to know Russia’s expected strategies and intentions towards the Middle East, apart from its oil and gas policies. The Iran deal on the nuclear issue in July 2015 may have been a factor behind the phenomena.

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